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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Investors approve of latest Fed action

Stocks have rebounded on encouraging economic news, bringing indexes to new highs and the Dow Jones industrial and transportation averages within 2 percent of their May highs. Along with improving labor statistics and the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue buying bonds and keep interest rates low, the news confirms a bullish trend for the market.

Job growth alone won’t support increased stock prices, but in the long run, it helps boost U.S. corporate profits. Moves above all-time Dow industrial average highs of 15,409.39 will confirm a bullish primary trend.

At an economic conference last week, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke explained how the central bank views the economy, emphasizing that the economy must accommodate monetary policy for the “foreseeable future.”

With bond yields rising slightly and bond-fund investors suffering losses, those in the bullish camp argue that money will continue to rotate from bonds to stocks.

Stock market volatility has accelerated in July, and further weakness is possible in the near term, despite the encouraging primary trend. However, secondary corrections are necessary evils in a bull market.

The bottom line for this week reveals that the recent market volatility has troubled many investors, because stocks have done nothing unexpected when it comes to a pullback relative to historical corrections and positive moves by the Fed.

Bernanke said the Fed might begin to curb its massive bond-buying program later this year and halt the practice completely by the middle of 2014 if the unemployment rate reaches 6.5 percent.

Two Town Crier “50” stocks made headlines last week.

• Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO; $25.93) has reported higher sales in 14 consecutive quarters. In the past 12 months, the company’s per-share profits rose 13 percent, while its competitors’ decreased 9 percent. The world’s largest supplier of networking equipment, Cisco’s results closely correlate to the performance of the global economy.

Cisco in June introduced a new router capable of handling four times more network traffic than previous incarnations, an upgrade that could generate $2 billion over the next two years.

Even as Cisco expands into higher-growth markets such as cloud computing, it still sticks to what it does best.

Many brokerage houses rate Cisco stock as a focus or long-term buy. Investors should consider purchasing shares – stock has proven resilient during the market’s recent volatility, offers growth potential and yields an annual dividend of 2.8 percent.

• Oracle Corp. (ORCL; $31.98) stock has traded on the Nasdaq exchange since 1986, but effective July 15, the company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company will retain its ticker symbol as it transfers to the NYSE.

Oracle reported soft April-quarter results, with shares slumping and the new dividend hike failing to impress investors. Earnings-per-share increased 5 percent to 87 cents, matching the consensus, while sales held flat at $10.95 billion. New software licenses and subscriptions for cloud software rose 4 percent, offsetting a decline in hardware products and support.

For the July quarter, Oracle expects sales of new licenses and subscriptions to be flat or to increase to 8 percent. The company doubled its quarterly dividend to 12 cents, payable Aug. 2. The yield is 0.8 percent per share.

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